Welcome Back

Before the wheels came off in the Double Dip - Photo: Myke Hermsmeyer
And I'm back! A lot has happened the last two months and I neglected my writing duties. In my mind I constantly justified it by saying "if I wait another few days I can include this next great thing." But that just prolonged it so now I will just do a brief survey of my running the last two months, starting with the Pengelly Double Dip.

Ouch! What is happening to me? That seemed to be my general reaction to the Double Dip in early June. This 13ish mile trail race starts in Missoula on the floor of the valley and climbs up and around the side of Sentinel eventually popping out at the saddle before going up to the Beacon and back, up to the Sentinel summit and back, and descending fiercely back to the start line. With over 3000' of climbing it's no joke of a race. It is also where Missoulians earn bragging rights. Let's just say I have nothing to brag about for a while.
Into the pain cave with teammate Ian closing - Photo: Myke Hermsmeyer

About two miles in I started feeling sluggish, which quickly turned into feeling awful, nausea, and general weakness. After turning the corner at the first aid station I nearly stopped running and dropped out. I knew immediately that any chance of taking top three was gone and I needed to throttle way back if I wanted to finish. So I did that and suffered for the next hour and a half in 85 degree heat and ran my worst race in years based off fitness level. I went into the race tired, but I thought I'd be able to pull off something a little more respectable. Can't fake it though with that much climbing!

The race itself is incredible. It's very well organized, brings out a huge portion of the Missoula running community, and is on a great mix of trail. I'm looking forward to next year and plan on going in rested.

That evening Runner's Edge hosted a trail running festival and gear demo, which doubled as the awards ceremony for the race. I made up for the poor race performance by winning a month at Momentum Gym, a box of Picky Bars, which will accompany my bottles of Fluid, and three months of coaching from Carmichael Training Systems. Not a bad day!
Back on the Flagstaff trails - Photo: Hillary Hayes

The week after the Double Dip Sara and I drove down to Flagstaff and got married. We had a great time returning home, seeing all our friends, and of course, professing our undying love and loyalty to each other. There will be more posted on the wedding at our cdthike.blogspot.com blog shortly. The week after, I got to hang out and put in some solid training at higher elevation.

So now I have a coach thanks to the trail running festival. Since I got back from Flagstaff my training has become more consistent and structured. My easy days are easier, and I get quality work done on my hard days. The biggest thing though is I'm now motivated enough to get out the door everyday (although I say that and I have not put in my hour for the day and it's 6:45pm). Overall I'm feeling stronger and faster, and, probably more important based off the Double Dip, properly recovered. All of this is good since my first real race is this weekend.
Training for Sky Running in the Pintlers - Photo: Sara Boughner

Tomorrow I am flying down to Durango, Colorado for a Saturday race in Silverton. The Kendall Mountain Run kicks off the US Sky Running series for me. It's a 12 mile race up Kendall Mountain and back down to a bar-b-cue and it has a great origin story, which is the most important factor in making an event great. The course travels up a technical old road bed to 300' below the summit before racers scramble to the top and descend. I imagine a grueling oxygen-deprived climb as we run up to 13,000' and a scary, barely controllable descent. Should be fun!

I'm excited to return to the Silverton area since the San Juan Mountains is where I had my greatest days of hiking on the CDT. I'll be able to take a day with my parents camping in the mountains after the race so I'm looking forward to a good trip.

To the races!

Training clumsily for Sky Running